Book Review: “The New Farmer’s Almanac”

Review Almanac
“The New Farmer’s Almanac,
Volume VI”
By Greenhorns
Greenhorns, 2023
300 pages, paperback, $25

The Greenhorns’ ”The New Farmer’s Almanac” has been an invaluable source of inspiration for farmers and anyone interested in the world of growing things, and its sixth volume, released in March 2023, continues to encourage and stimulate the minds of its audience. Packed with a wealth of knowledge, practical advice and personal stories, this edition is a comprehensive guide that serves as an essential companion for anyone stepping into the world of agriculture.

Like the many traditional farmers’ almanacs out there, this one is also chaptered by month. It, too, includes a celestial calendar for the year. One of the standout features of this edition is its diverse content submitted by writers from across the country. It covers a wide range of topics that are relevant to modern farming practices: regenerative growing, social justice issues, tales of water usage, and specific plant information. Each section is thoughtfully curated, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities and challenges faced by farmers today.

“The New Farmer’s Almanac” also offers the reader a wide look at what is happening in agriculture and related fields without limiting the scope to rural spaces. Pictures and words documenting “A Monument to Sharing” can inspire similar projects in folks’ own cities. The monument consists of 32 orange trees in planters located near the Ann Street Entrance of Los Angeles State Historic Park. Each planter has a quote from a neighbor who lives nearby and people are invited to gently pick ripe fruit. In another section an interview with Farmer Shawn of Life Do Grow Farm in North Philadelphia gives insight into the life path of a city farmer. In the writing “A Space to Heal” by Michele Scott we hear about the author’s deep connection to a garden while she was incarcerated.

This almanac is meant to be read over time and can be picked up, put down and shared. With a modern layout and lots of visual elements throughout, the reader can enjoy just flipping through and taking in the black and white photos, drawings from artists, and even a cartoon about weeds.

There are many personal stories of farmers and land tenders that evoke joy and tears. What sets this almanac apart is its emphasis on community building and collaboration. The almanac not only provides valuable information, but it also acts as a platform for recognizing and building connections with like-minded individuals, encouraging working together towards a more sustainable future.

Denise DeSpirito, Of the Spirit Herbals, Rockland, Maine

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